Mandy Smith was preparing the 2013 Christmas dinner for her family in Flat Rock, N.C., in the middle of a blizzard. In a hurry, she darted across the street to her parents’ house to pick up her daughter, Arielle Lynch, and in her rush back home she slipped and fell in the snow, and her legs flew out from under her. She twisted her left knee under her right leg, breaking her ankle and shattering her knee. Smith’s daughter picked her up, carried her inside, and waited for the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) unit to arrive. The snow was so heavy that night, it took more than an hour for help to arrive.
“I had been traveling down a rocky road, way away from Jesus for nearly 13 years,” said Smith. “While waiting for the EMS, my daughter and I felt so much peace for the first time in years watching the snow fall.”
In the months to follow, Smith waited for a donor in a fitted brace from her ankle up to her thigh. Still unsure of what place God had in her life, Smith felt she saw His compassion in the acts of others during her time waiting for a donor. The brace made it difficult to move around.
“It was during this time of waiting that I saw the true character of complete strangers,” said Smith. “People went out of their way to hold doors and wait for my crutches to slowly cross the road. My daughter would carry me on her back. Slowly my barriers were breaking down.”
After a donor was selected, Smith went into surgery knowing that the knee replacement saved her from the possibilities of amputation or being crippled. Post- surgery, Smith was provided with the opportunity to anonymously thank the family for her “new” knee. In that process, she felt God speaking to her heart.“
“While I was writing a letter to the family thanking them for their gift and for checking the box to be an organ donor, I heard an audible voice that reverberated through my whole body say, ‘I checked that box for you, too,’” said Smith. “I thought I had grieved the Holy Spirit away, but instead I heard His voice! He was calling me back; my ice-cold heart still belonged to Him! I cried a lot and rededicated my life to Jesus.”
Since her recovery, Smith has been running a 5K at Lake Junalaska Camp Meeting every summer to commemorate her surgery and her conversion. This year, due to the cancellation of Camp Meeting brought on by the novel coronavirus pandemic, Smith ran the full length of a 5K in her own neighborhood!
“I owe everything to God; my daughter, Arielle Lynch; Toby Tyler and his special friendship; and my church family and friends for pouring their never-tiring love and patience to me,” said Smith.
Smith was rebaptized after studying the Bible for about a year, and is now an active member at the Upward Church in Flat Rock, N.C.
Carolina | September 2020